Tag Archives: coconut oil

Coconut Milk Pre-Poo

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A couple of weeks ago, I was fudging around on YouTube and came across this two part series on using coconut milk as a hair treatment. I was immediately intrigued for two reasons. First, I love me some coconut oil! DON’T NOBODY better say nothin’ bad about COCONUT OIL. ‘Cuz that’s when Bonita goes OFF!! *teehee* Second, the YouTuber’s hair is RIDIC!! I mean, long as all get out and so healthy looking without a broken strand visible to the naked eye (whereas I have a ton from a rough, dry winter :()!! Now, I know her hair is not curly, kinky, or coily. However, I have always believed that we can learn things from a variety of sources and different textures/ethnicities as so many of the practices that promote healthy hair are the same, regardless of race/texture/hair type (i.e. moisture, protein, protection). And, given the benefits of coconut oil (did you see this recent article on CurlyNikki about the amazing penetrating capabilities of coconut oil?!?!?) and how great it works for me, I figured coconut milk (which has coconut oil in it) might be just as awesome.

via BeautyKLove

Part I: Extracting Coconut Milk

Part II: Applying Coconut Milk

Now, though I love the IDEA of using fresh coconut milk, #aintnobodygottimeforthat.  *LOL* So, I broke out  a can of coconut milk that I had in the cabinet. I had picked up a couple of cans a long time ago for a post-wash avocado/coconut milk/honey DC that didn’t work out too well (made my hair hard). But, I was ready to give this new use of it a go! However, first, I decided to research a little more to see if I could find naturals who had used coconut milk with success. And, I just so happened to come across these posts by my virtual curlfriend, Petra/Emily CottonTop: Coconut Milk Deep Condition and Results – Coconut Milk Pre-Poo.  In these posts, Petra shares a pre-poo recipe:

The recipe
Coconut Milk  – 4 tablespoons
Honey -2 tablespoon
3 of Your Favorite oils – 1 tablespoon each

… and her awesome results. I was sold!

So, I whipped up a batch of coconut-milk with Vatika Oil and EVOO, using only two tablespoons of oil instead of three. I heated the mix and applied to my dry dirty hair. Then I donned a plastic cap and my thermal heat turban for about an hour. I will say that the application process was messy and a bit sticky. But, my wash process went very smoothly and my hair felt stronger, moisturized and my twists were so plump, juicy and shiny!

So, this past weekend, I made a coconut milk pre-poo again with the leftovers from the prior week. This time, I added some Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner (I was hoping that it would thicken the mix, but it didn’t really) and applied and massaged plain, warmed coconut milk into my scalp too. Though the application process was still a little messy (I think I’ll use a small dye applicator bottle in the future), I had great results again. So, I’m really thinking this will become a staple in my regimen!! I will keep an eye on my hair to make certain that the coconut milk doesn’t begin to make it feel hard or brittle (due to the protein content). If it does, I will reduce the frequency of the treatment.

Finally, I don’t use much coconut milk for the treatment and it only keeps in the fridge for about two weeks it seems. So, I was worried about spoilage and wasting it. Fortunately for me, I discovered that it can be frozen into ice cubes to form convenient “serving sizes” for future use!!!

coconutmilkicecubes

So yeah, all engines are a go!! Coconut milk pre-poo treatments are my new boo!! Time will tell if it results in strands as long, seemingly perfectly uniform in length, and unbroken as that YouTuber!! One can only hope ;)!!

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Do you use coconut milk in your regimen? If so, what’s your recipe and process? How often do you use it? What benefits to you see from using it?

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Dry Braid n’ Curl with Coconut Oil Whip

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Seriously, a hair blog is the best diary! I’m not really consistent in the products that I use to style. I’ll just grab whatever is tickling my fancy at the moment. And, there are times when I remember getting great results from a product, but have no clue what I used! Enter Hairscapades the blog! LOL!! I am almost always able to find the picture and post with details of my styling and products to help me recreate the look as closely as possible. I mean, it’s rarely EXACTLY the same. But, I can get close.

Anywho, Wei and I had plans this weekend, which included a trip to a movie screening in NYC and meeting more of his family! So, you know I wanted to look nice. However, as we went out to dinner on Friday night to celebrate the anniversary of our engagement, I didn’t have time to wash my  hair (and I didn’t wash it all this weekend). Therefore, I decided a dry braid n’ curl (BnC) was in order and wanted to recreate the fluffy  look I had when I did my hair for the Katie Couric Show in Janaury (see it here).

So, I re-read Getting Ready: Hair√, Face√, Clothes√ and did essentially the same thing.

Dry BnC Set

  • Gently finger detangled hair with my coconut oil whip (I am LOVING this stuff!!);
  • Applied Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly at the root of each section to smooth and set hair, then braided;
  • Set hair in 10 braids total (2 on each side in the front; 3 on each side in back);
  • Dampened each braid with water by wetting my hands and smoothing and squishing the water down the braids;
  • Applied Deva Curl Set It Free on the ends of each braid and set them on grey perm rods (I set about an inch or two of my ends to make certain they stayed curly as they tend to get flattened when I sleep);
  • Donned my Blensblend silk bonnet and hit the sack.

And these were the results on Saturday.

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Yeah, I definitely prefer BnCs over TnCs now. I just think they give me more uniform results. Also think my hair doesn’t tangle as much.

I think the flaxseed cream gel that I used on wash day was reactivated by the water and helped provide some nice hold and definition too!! One thing you may notice is my glaring grey roots. It’s really time for a henna treatment and I was hoping to do one on Sunday, but it didn’t happen. TouchBack Marker to the rescue!!

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Let me tell you, that thing is really a great pinch hitter when I can’t henna!! The other great thing about it is that I’ve had it since last summer and it is still as effective as when I first purchased it. It hasn’t dried out and the color hasn’t faded! Love the longevity. Given the price, that was an important factor for me re-purchasing it in the future.

So yeah, I’ll definitely be using the marker to touch-up those greys for the CurlyNikki Curly NYC event on Wednesday!!  I think I might try something a little different and set it dry for a curly ‘fro a la Mahogany Curls!! (Time to hit Sally’s as I don’t think I have enough perm rods! I also want to see if “my” Sofn’Free Nothing But Mold and Hold Wax is on the shelves yet!!)

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Anyone else going to the CurlyNikki Curl Power event with Chrisette Michelle this Wednesday?! If so, what are you doing with your hair?! Hope to see some of you there!!

OOTD: Tame Hair, “Wild” Outfit

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Just popping on really quickly to say, “Hey!” and show you what I was working with yesterday. *lol* So, yeah, the basic boring, tame bun is back. But seriously, buns are soooo easy and work for me! I pulled back my hair and made a bun by wrapping the hair and securing with hair pins (I’m getting the hang of those now and prefer them over bobby pins as they don’t snag and yank out strands of my hair when removed). I didn’t use anything to secure my hair into a ponytial. NO elastic; NO banana clip. Then, I just mixed a little shea butter and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel to smooth my edges before tying down with a satin scarf for the drive to work. My hair is on its last leg now and needs to be washed this weekend though as it’s been two weeks since my last washing session.

Now onto my “wild” outfit. LOL. It’s not really wild, but the title worked as the skirt is leopard. I am definitely getting my money’s worth out of this purchase. I honestly adore this skirt! It fits me like a glove and it’s just a great leopard print! I paired it with another closet fave, a structured, grey, wool blazer that I picked up at Marshall’s in 2011. I love the details at the shoulders on this blazer, and the lean cut and lapels make it so sleek. I paired the skirt and blazer with a black, blouson tank with a tie-neck, but left the ties hanging so they almost look like an open men’s tie. I finished the look off with black fishnet stockings, black ankle booties and gold hoop earrings.

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I have a full length shot on my camera, but I’ll have to upload that to my computer and add it to the post later.

Oh, and on another note, I made a new coconut oil body butter on Wednesday night!!

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It smells like chocolate!! I’ll share the recipe for this one soon. And, I plan on being a little mixtress this weekend too. Want to try a bentonite clay mask like I told you the other day and I also plan on trying my hand at making some flaxseed gel. I’ve made that before as well, but cooked the seeds too long, I think. So, the gel was too thick and viscous. Want to give it another go and see what it do ;).

HAPPY FRIDAY LADIES!!!!

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What do you have planned for MLK Day Weekend?

Coconut Oil Lip Balm

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So, y’all know that I’ve been on a coconut oil induced mixtress binge as of late after discovering this great page, 25 Magical Things to Make with Coconut Oil. Well, my latest endeavor was to try my hand at making a coconut oil lip balm. You see, I’m a Chapstick/lip balm addict! I MUST have something moisturizing for my lips on me at all times! But, I know that Chapstick and many other lip balms contain parabens, which is an ingredient that I’ve been trying to get away from as much as possible. So, when I saw this recipe (which requires minimal ingredients and effort), I decided it was worth giving a try.

via Passionate Homemaking

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons beeswax (about 1 oz)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons shea butter
12 lip balm containers
dropper

Directions:

1. Melt beeswax in a small pan or crockpot over low heat. Add coconut oil and shea butter until all ingredients a melted. Add a few drops essential oil if desired. I did not use any essential oil and it is smells wonderfully like honey!
2. Using a small medicinal dropper, pour the melted liquid into your lip balm containers. Add a few extra drops to the top after filling each container as the ingredients will shrink as they cool.
3. Cool completely to harden. Cover with cap and decorate or label as desired.

Well, first I had to get a couple of the “ingredients.” I had the coconut oil and the shea butter, but needed the beeswax and lip balm containers. The article on Passionate Homemaking had links to a seller, but I decided to check out Amazon, since I had reward points available, also wanted some coco butter and could potentially get free Super Saver shipping ;). So, I hopped on Amazon.com and purchased a bag of five 1 oz. bars of beeswax for $6.35 and a pack of 10 clear .15 oz. lip balm containers for $11.97. Not bad, but learned from a reader, Cheryl, that I could have done better on the lip balm containers by using “Amazon Prime” in my search terms and digging a little further in the results. She found 25 black containers for $13.97!! Live and Learn!!

Anywho, yesterday I got home and my Amazon shipment was at the door! I was sooooo tired because I’d been on the road for several hours, stuck in horrendous traffic on the turnpike as I was returning home from south Jersey. But, after changing and chilling for a bit, I couldn’t resist taking a stab at the lip balm recipe. And, let me tell you, it was soooo easy and quick!!! I grabbed an eye dropper from a hair product and cleaned it with some soapy water, then grabbed my Maychang essential oil and got to work!

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I decided to throw the balms into the fridge after finishing them last night. However, that was NOT a good idea! LOL!! The contents got too hard and I wasn’t able to turn the knobs to make the balm rise out of the container. But, when I placed one of the containers high over a burner to allow it to warm a little, it worked like a charm. So, in the future, I know to just let them cool at room temperature.

I used the balm last night and today and it’s very smooth and silky feeling. It doesn’t feel as thick or hard as chapstick, but it feels moisturizing and not at all waxy so far! So excited to have a natural and paraben free lip balm that is so easy to make!!

Finally, next time that I have extra, I’m going to try the hard lotion bars! At the end of the recipe post, the author indicated that leftovers can be poured into an ice cube tray to make hard lotion bars!! LOVE it!! Shoot, why wait for next time and leftovers?!?! I just might make another batch of the balm today!! I’m guessing that I can just store the hard lotion bar in a sandwich bag!

smooches

Smooches!

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Are you a Chapstick addict? Would you ever try making your own? If you’ve made your own lip balm, what ingredients do you use in YOUR recipe?!? Any tips or tricks to share?

A DIY Christmas Gift: Coconut Oil Body Whip

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I was up until midnight last night getting this done, so I hope that my team likes them!! So, remember my Coconut Oil Body Whip post from last week? Well, I decided, “What a great little gift for my work team!!!” So, I picked up two 12 packs of these little 4 oz. Ball® quilted mason jars from Ace Hardware for $9.99 each and four 16 oz. jars of virgin coconut oil, one bottle of grapeseed oil, and one of bottle of Vitamin E oil from Trader’s Joe and got to work! I also picked up some decorative miniature Christmas ball ornaments and ribbon at the Dollar Store. I wanted to use cupcake papers to decorate the jars, but couldn’t find any jumbo ones in stores, so I opted for cutting tissue paper into circles to decorate the top of the jars. Since I had lavender and maychang essential oil at home already, I was good to go on the scents.  Oh, and I had also picked up some extra labels from Ace. Now, I was ready to get to work.

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Now, I LOVE the Maychang scented whip. But, the Lavender doesn’t smell like much to me and I added at least 30 drops of EO. So, I wouldn’t use that in the future and definitely have to find some other options. I bought some apricot kernel oil to try, but that didn’t smell like much either, so didn’t even bother using it. I also noted that the Trader Joe’s virgin coconut oil didn’t indicate whether it was refined or unrefined and didn’t smell as good to me as the Spectrum Unrefined Coconut Oil. So, though the TJ’s was cheaper ($5.99 for 16 oz.) compared to the $14.99 SALE price for 29 oz. jar of Spectrum, I would get the Spectrum in the future.

So yeah … gotta finish my Christmas shopping … since this is the ONLY thing I’ve done so far. Haven’t even gotten Wei a gift yet!!!! Better hit that CVS gift card kiosk soon!!! Think I’m playin’? LMBO!!

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So, what gift are you giving this year that makes you truly agree with the saying, “Giving is better than receiving?”

Although, below is one of the gifts that my team gave me earlier this week. And gotta say … receiving may be better than giving this time!!

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Look!!!! They’re beaming like the Bat Signal!!

Coconut Oil Body Whip

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Over the last couple of months, I’ve been struggling with excessively dry skin. I’m talking about the type of dry where the skin is ashy, cracked and hurts because it’s so tight! Even after slathering on body butters, lotions, oils … still dry as the Sahara, ashy and hurtful!! I know that the change to cold weather results in less humidity and dryer inside air caused by heated cars and houses. However, I also know that I didn’t experience this last year and, I think that a large part of it was related to my lack of water consumption over the last two months (which I rectified 2 weeks ago).

Regardless of my water issues, I was still getting aggravated that the natural oils and butters weren’t helping the situation. It seemed to me that they just sat on top of my skin rather than penetrating to moisturize it. And even leaving water on my skin before applying the oils and butters to seal it in didn’t seem to work! It seems that the only thing that provides any lasting relief (meaning through the work day) was my Vaseline Intensive Care. But, I’ve been trying to get away from commercial products with parabens and synthetic ingredients and incorporate more natural products into my skincare.  So, I have decided to try something that I love with all my heart for hair and that Wei uses religiously for his body (he calls it, “juices and berries,” and his skin is like butta!! *lol*). You guessed it!! COCONUT OIL!! (It really wasn’t too difficult to figure out, was it? *lol* ;))

The weekend before last, I scoped out organic unrefined virgin coconut oil (VCO) on sale at my local health food store. It was far cheaper than the same brand at my local Shop-rite. So, we hit up the spot this past Saturday.

coconutoilonsale$14.99 for 29 ounces!!

Yeahhhh … we got two. LOL. Next, I went to the essential oil (EO) section and as I looked for something that might mix well with the coconut oil. I have lavender, rosemary, cedarwood and thyme EO at home, but those were not scents that I relished. As I was perusing the offerings, a store clerk asked me if I needed any help. I told her that I was looking for an EO that would work well in a body oil made with coconut oil. I also told her that I like citrusy smells (I was holding tangerine EO), but I know that some EOs can be irritating to the skin. She then proceeded to recommend maychang. I’d never heard of it before, but took a whiff from a tester and loved it! I was sold and after picking up a few more things, including lunch, we paid for our goods!!

On Sunday, I pulled out my dusty mixtress cap and got to work (if you can even call it that!). First, I scooped out some coconut oil and filled up a 1/2 c. plastic container. Then, I microwaved a cup of water and dumped it into a pot into which I placed the plastic container.

coconutoil_meltingThe burner is NOT lit.

After several minutes, most of the oil melted and I poured it into a small travel bottle. I added about 4-5 drops of the Maychang EO, shook up the bottle and then repeated the process to make a full bottle of scented body oil.

coconutoil1Halfway done!

Now, the thing is, coconut oil goes hard at room temp or colder. Out of habit, Wei always throws his bottle of oil in the shower with him to melt it. But, I know that I will forget to do that and end up being mad and frustrated as heck trying to get it melt when I’m trying to get out the door for work. Well, fortunately for me, I came across this post on Saturday: RevitaliseYourHealth.com – 25 Magical Things to Make with Coconut Oil (Note: registration may be required). It had links to all of these great coconut oil recipes for body, hair and health!! The first was a super simple recipe was for a coconut oil “whip” that the writer made to deal with the issue of coconut oil hardening! It only contained 1 required ingredient (coconut oil, obviously ;)) and 2 optional ones! I was SOLD!

via Living The Nourished Life

What you need:
1 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (optional)
a few drops of your favorite essential oils for fragrance (optional)

What to do:
1. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl. (You do not have to melt the coconut oil first.)
2. Mix on high speed with a wire whisk for 6-7 minutes or until whipped into a light, airy consistency.
3. Spoon the whipped coconut oil body butter into a glass jar and cover tightly. Store at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if your house is so warm it melts the oil.

I had my coconut oil, my vitamin E capsules and my EO! So, I pulled out my woefully unused electric hand mixer and got to work. I threw in the cup of coconut oil, the oil from five 400 EU vitamin E capsules, and about a 1/4 c. of shea butter … just because. I set the time on my microwave for 7 minutes and whipped the ingredients on medium to high. The oil and shea butter blended quickly and easily and the 7 minutes flew by. Once I was done with that, I added about 6-7 drops of the maychang EO and blended for another 30 seconds to a minute.

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Next, I had to find a glass jar in which to store my lovely whip! All I had was plastic containers! But then, I thought of a source!! I asked Wei to open the fridge and found two small old jars, one filled with pesto (8 oz.) and the other with minced garlic (4.5 oz) that could be discarded. We washed them out with soap, water and then a little white vinegar to kill the smell. I opted to use the bigger pesto container … one, because it was big enough to hold all of the whip; two: because it didn’t smell like garlic *LOL*.

So, now I’m going to admit that I fibbed a little earlier when I said that I hadn’t done ANY Christmas shopping. You see, as I was making the whip, I had a ¤¤¤Brain Blast¤¤¤!!

What a great homemade gift for my 12 direct employees!!! It’s practical, useful, personal, creative and smells good!! But, I needed more small glass jars … and not repurposed ones!! LOL! So, I posted the first pic on IG and asked for ideas on where I could find them! I got lots of great suggestions and decided to go with small mason jars from Walmart or Ace Hardware. I found four packs of 8 ounce mason jars at Walmart for less than $4 each. But, the jars and tops were wide, so I decided to hit Ace to see if their jars were a little smaller in diameter. Well, I found 4 ounce jars in a 12 pack for $8.49 instead! PERFECT!! So, I got those for the gift body whips and plan on returning all but one of the 8 oz. jar 4-packs (I’ll keep one box for my own personal use ;)).

masonjars24 oz. jars on either side; 8 oz. jar  in the middle

Finally, I got another really cute idea from a young lady on IG and I have some other “additives” for the mixes. But, I don’t want to give it all away! So, you’ll learn the end results of my little DIY Christmas gift project when I finish it! Or, if you just can’t wait, you can read the comments on the IG post here and figure it out ;). But first things first, I need to pick up some more coconut oil!! I learned that I might be able to get a better deal at Trader Joe’s, so I may go there or order it on Amazon! Hmmm, any other suggestions (This would be a good addition to I Found It Cheaper, right?).

Now, wish me luck that now that I’m drinking enough water, my new coconut oil and whip will work to keep my skin moisturized and supple!!

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Do you use coconut oil on your body? Have any advice to maximize the benefits and/or a great recipe to share?

My Staples: Virgin Coconut Oil/Vatika Oil

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So, I thought you all might be interested in a series of posts about my staple and Holy Grail (HG) products. I figured I’d go through the items in the order that I use them on wash day as that provides a pretty logical sequence.

Let’s begin with my pre-poo staple(s): virgin coconut oil (VCO) and Dabur Vatika Enhanced Coconut Hair Oil. If you read my post on Mineral Oil v. Coconut Oil and the linked article from NaturallyCurly.com, you know about the many benefits of virgin coconut oil for hair. Although I’ve been using Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream as of late, I always have VCO and Vatika Oil in the cabinets and will return to them. In fact, as I write this post, I have had a Vatika Oil pre-poo in my hair for two days (thank goodness for banana clip buns and flowers;-).

I began incorporating pre-poos into my regimen last November after seeing this post on CurlyNikki.com and the accompanying video by Youtuber whatgetsonmytits below (I feel funny writing that, but have to give her credit!!).

The information that indicated that coconut oil is the only oil that actually penetrates the hair cortex and can moisturize hair from the inside out, as well as the scientific evidence supporting its ability to prevent hygral fatigue, were all it took to sell me. I hit the grocery store and got myself some VCO and started pre-pooing my very next wash day.

After some additional research on various site, such as Mop Top Maven, and spending time in my local Indian grocer’s hair products aisle looking at henna (PJ heaven, I tell ya!), I also learned of Dabur Vatika Oil. This is what Amazon.com has to say about this product:

  • Premium coconut hair oil enriched with henna, amla, lemon and five other trusted herbs
  • Provides natural nourishment to your hair, giving it body and radiance, taking care of the critical balance of nutrients
  • Ensures deeper oil penetration to give your hair and scalp complete nourishment for problem free, healthy hair
  • Strengthens the roots of your hair, to help maintain their health and natural thickness
  • Astringent action of lemon controls sebum flow helping to prevent dandruff

Turns out that not only does Vatika oil claim coconut oil as its first ingredient, it’s significantly cheaper than the VCO I was purchasing at my local grocery store. I am able to get 10.14 fl. oz. (or 300 mL) of Vatika oil for $3.99 at my local Indian grocer, whereas a 14 oz. bottle of VCO costs me more than $10 a jar. Don’t get me wrong, I still purchase VCO (the SO uses it on his skin;). However, the Vatika oil is a more cost-effective alternative for my pre-poos where I use a decent amount of product. I save the VCO for my SO and for adding to my DCs. Since I’ve incorporated pre-poos into my routine, I’m able to do some light, dry finger-detangling prior to my shampoo and conditioning session. I would have never imagined trying a dry detangle prior to this (though detangling a stretched TnC is far easier than detangling a WnG). However, given that hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, I welcomed the idea of doing some of the “heavy lifting” on dry hair in order to reduce mechanical damage. Another effect that I attribute to coconut oil is shinier and more moisturized hair. I generally find that I don’t need to rewet my hair during the week (though I do tend to apply some product(s) – oil, butter and/or gel – 1 or 2 times during the week).

One thing I will advise is that though my hair LOVES coconut oil for pre-poos and added to my DCs, it hates it for sealing. They start out playing nice, but a fight inevitably breaks out the next day and my ends are left dry and crunchy. A lot of people seem to experience the same altercation! So, that is something that you should keep in mind when using coconut oil. It may be good for one thing, but not for another and you should pay attention to your hair’s reaction to products, even the same product, when used in different ways.

Tips:
  1. Coconut/Vatika oil is solid at normal room temperatures and should be melted in its closed container under or submerged in hot water (not the microwave). If it’s kept in a warmer location (like my condo during the summer – I hate AC!), it will liquify.
  2. Pour an inch or two of melted coconut/Vatika oil into a dye applicator bottle for easier melting and convenience of application.

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Have you tried pre-pooing? What type of oil(s) and/or conditioner(s) do you use and what results have you experienced, if any? Would you recommend pre-pooing as a regimen building block?